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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Exit Europa

Most Americans want US troops out of Europe:
The Rasmussen polling organization is out with a shock poll that the entire Washington establishment needs to study: 51 percent of voters surveyed said they wanted all US troops out of Europe, now. Only 29 percent favored keeping the troops where they are. US troops have been in Europe since World War Two. In the Cold War, they not only kept the Russians out; they gave the rest of the Old World the confidence that Germany would not come storming back for a rematch. The presence of US troops helped give western Europe its longest era of peace since Roman times.

Since the end of the Cold War the US presence in Europe has made much less sense to the average American, but foreign policy junkies like yours truly think that it still serves a purpose. Not only do those troops provide security in new NATO countries like Poland and the Baltic republics; US bases in Europe are important in dealing with terror and other problems in the Middle East and without the US presence in Europe it is unlikely that NATO in its present form can survive.
Being a sophisticated foreign policy junkie, but not, apparently, a historian or an economist, Walter Russell Mead completely fails to understand the crucial point. It's not that "the arguments for the US presence in Europe are credible, clear and compelling", it's something else that entirely supersedes them. You're BANKRUPT, dude! The USA cannot afford to pay for the US presence in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in South Korea, or in Europe. It's done. It's over. Even the slow-witted American public has finally figured it out.

And the more Hispanics and other third-worlders that enter the country, the less the average American is going to give a damn about the wet dreams of foreign policy junkies.

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63 Comments:

Anonymous TLM May 23, 2012 1:38 PM  

He's right! Someone has to stop the Communist Russian tank divisions from blitzkrieg-ing through the Fulda Gap in 2012!!!

Anonymous Shild May 23, 2012 1:39 PM  

Why is the safety of Europe America's responsibility? As a matter of fact, why has it ever been?

Don't get me wrong; I'd get it if it were some kind of protection racket (I wouldn't approve, but I'd get it). As far as I can tell though we're not getting paid.

Blogger Markku May 23, 2012 1:41 PM  

Perhaps xkcd's famous Money Chart would help him get the picture. With special emphasis on Billions -> Federal Budget -> Interest on Debt and Billions -> US Spending on Wars.

Blogger Giraffe May 23, 2012 1:42 PM  

I like the commments:

….so…. we won’t be able to go get in any wars through fictitious “international” agencies (the military head of NATO is American, by treaty)? … so …. we won’t send any more “peacekeepers” to third-world “nations” to watch the locals get killed as we stand idly by? … so … we won’t send any more money to be continually wasted by third world wastrels? … so … we won’t keep-up the fiction that europe cares about its own future – and we need to protect them – when they don’t even have kids?

Out of NATO, out of the UN. Neither serve a useful purpose in the post-Cold War world.

Anonymous Gen. Kong May 23, 2012 1:52 PM  

The chief purpose the rather poorly paid mercenaries of the Banksta Banana Republick are retained in the EUSSR is that the banksta-jailers running the prison of nations doesn't want to have to pay for muscle. Really, if the Greeks actually decided to break out of jail - dumping the Euro and leaving the EUSSR - how long do you think it would be before a 'coalition of the willing' would be assembled dominated by the USSA to install a regime more to the liking of the vampire-squids? Two weeks?
Besides, the Turkish NATO ally next door would be more than happy to reclaim part of the Ummah lost since the early 1800s.

Anonymous Matt Strictland May 23, 2012 1:54 PM  

Also important, those demographics. A society with more Asians (the fastest growing minority) and Hispanics is not going to be tied at the hip to Europe.

I hope we do leave soon frankly, they can take care of themselves anyway.

Blogger Giraffe May 23, 2012 1:55 PM  

Hey Chuck(le) Pelto's over there too. Making the case to stay, of course.

Anonymous Anonymous May 23, 2012 2:08 PM  

The troops are there to make sure Europe doesn't overthrow american progressives and install working systems of government.

Anonymous James Dixon May 23, 2012 2:12 PM  

> It's not that "the arguments for the US presence in Europe are credible, clear and compelling"...

Especially since they're nothing of the kind.

Blogger Conan the Cimmerian, King of Aquilonia May 23, 2012 2:13 PM  

Hey Chuck(le) Pelto's over there too. Making the case to stay, of course.

I am disappointed in that.

Blogger Conan the Cimmerian, King of Aquilonia May 23, 2012 2:15 PM  

Gen. Kong:
The chief purpose the rather poorly paid mercenaries of the Banksta Banana Republick are retained in the EUSSR is that the banksta-jailers running the prison of nations doesn't want to have to pay for muscle.


Yes, and that is why there will be no leaving the poor defenseless Europa.

Anonymous ENthePeasant May 23, 2012 2:18 PM  

War is most likely coming to Europe. I've been assured by my betters that it will be a quick war without much bloodshed, but then, they always say that before the continent blows up in a horrendous bloodbath. Let's get out, and stay out. We might do well after it's over, just as we have in the past... although, Europe is no longer the center of anything good. The US should have turned it's eyes to Asia years ago.

Anonymous JCclimber May 23, 2012 2:26 PM  

As per the Honor Harrington novel "A Quick Victorious War", that is always the promise the political and military leaders make. It was rather refreshing that Bush DIDN'T make that promise in beginning the "War on Terror".

Let's get out of Afghanistan first. That sucker is extremely expensive and serves no strategic purpose anyway. Then start shutting down bases in Europe at the rate of 1 every 6 months.

Love to see us get out of Korea, too, and cut the numbers in Japan to just one large base in Okinawa.

Anonymous Daniel May 23, 2012 2:26 PM  

As we all know, the continent of Europe was founded in 1945 with the peacetime occupation. If the U.S. withdraws, they'll degenerate into madness. They'll start by shutting down Disneyland Paris, then they'll come for the off-base housing - finally, they'll come for you, because you are not a European consumer. Who will speak for you?

I mean, besides Walter Russell Mead and Bamitt Obomney, that is.

Do what George Marshall did, and think of the great grandchildren! Better yet, make sure you don't! The price tag will knock your socks off.

I've got no problem if the Europeans want to directly pay us for military services - there's no reason why our military (in a reduced form) couldn't turn a profit.

Oh wait. It's owned by the Federal Government. Never mind.

Anonymous DonReynolds May 23, 2012 2:31 PM  

The US presence in Europe has never been anything more than a tripwire to automatically trigger a heavy American response. Another way to describe them is "wolf meat". There were never enough to even slow down the heavily mechanized Soviet or Warsaw Pact forces from overrunning West Germany in a matter of days. The main strategic question, which Soviet planners could not answer, is whether the US would use battlefield nuclear weapons to tip the scales once the attackers reached the Rhine. Positioning the nuclear weapons on German soil made it just as likely that they would be overrun and captured before they could be launched. Another bad outcome. With air and sea based nukes, it is no longer necessary to have weapons stationed on the ground at all.

Yes Vox, I agree again. The troops in Europe serve no military purpose at all and any political argument for continuing their presence is iffy at best. The American military presence is not welcome or accepted by the common people in Europe, by my experience, and if put to a vote....they would be sent packing by morning. We probably would enjoy much better relations with Europe without our bayonets at the ready.

Anonymous Daniel May 23, 2012 2:33 PM  

There's a good joke over there:

A German tourist went to Greece, and was questioned by customs:

Customs: Occupation?
German: Nein! Vacation.


It may have been written in support of occupation (keep the Germans at bay), but it should be noted that our occupation provided the environment in which Germany has the channels necessary to occupy Greece today.

Anonymous WaterBoy May 23, 2012 2:35 PM  

Gen. Kong: "The chief purpose the rather poorly paid mercenaries of the Banksta Banana Republick are retained in the EUSSR is that the banksta-jailers running the prison of nations doesn't want to have to pay for muscle."

That, and wealth redistribution. How many billions of taxpayer dollars have been spent over the past ~67 years constructing and maintaining bases, etc? Some of the BRAC recommendations haven't even been implemented because of the negative economic impact it would have on adjacent communities.

Anonymous DonReynolds May 23, 2012 2:40 PM  

JCclimber..."Love to see us get out of Korea, too, and cut the numbers in Japan to just one large base in Okinawa."

Okinawa IS Japan, but yes, I agree with you. We very much need to withdraw from South Korea and Japan. Ultimately, we will be invited to leave the Phillipines too. Not to worry. We no longer need "coaling stations" to maintain the fleet. Let the Asians pay and man their own defenses, no different from the Europeans, and for many of the same reasons.

(My oldest son comes home next month from spending two years in Okinawa. I will be glad to see him. His next assignment will be in Maryland. Very good.)

Anonymous The other skeptic May 23, 2012 2:41 PM  

How Greece can exit the EURO without tanking markets.

Do they really care if they tank the markets.

Anonymous WaterBoy May 23, 2012 2:42 PM  

DonReynolds: "The troops in Europe serve no military purpose at all and any political argument for continuing their presence is iffy at best."

Other than a staging area for other operations further east....it's easier to resupply troops, and rotate them, from Europe than it is from the US. Not cheaper, mind you...just easier.

Anonymous Lysander Spooner May 23, 2012 2:47 PM  

"You're BANKRUPT, dude! "

Yabbut, yabbut, we can just stimulate ourselves to prosperity or was that austerity, n wut about we are #1, hoooRahhhhh !!!! Yabbut I saw it on teeeeveeee .....

Duh 'Mericans.....

Anonymous CJ May 23, 2012 3:08 PM  

And then there's the bit about providing security for "new NATO members." That fake promise of security is the worst thing that can happen to those countries. We made lots of noise about Georgia joining NATO and all they got was a Katyusha up the arse. Nobody other than John McCain is really serious about starting a war to protect any of those countries from the Russians.

Anonymous III May 23, 2012 3:20 PM  

Egads, while Spooner had some good idea's, he was a socialist and definitely anti-capitalism. Even Jefferson realized that we could not all be just a nation of only individual citizen farmers and artisans.

Anyhow, close shop and bring them home. Rebuild our Navy.

Anonymous Josh May 23, 2012 4:16 PM  

Anyhow, close shop and bring them home. Rebuild our Navy.

wtf do we need a navy for?

Blogger JohnG May 23, 2012 4:49 PM  

The underlying strategy on bases everywhere is staging areas. We could certainly decrease the number quite a bit to a base or two per country, if that were really critical (and by doing so, save a zillion bucks. Most people would be horrified at what our leases are costing). Rummsfeld's plan was to be able to airlift a zillion guys and light armor anywhere quickly, but all that went down the toilet when the Democrats started saying the soldiers weren't adquately trained, protected or equipped (meaning the Strykers got too heavy to put on planes, HMMWVs got a zillion lb armor kits, we got MRAPs and soldiers got about 50lbs of armor to wear - which is nice against the snipers, because they don't always aim for the face, but not at all helpful vs. IEDs).

I'm actually for a full pullout of Europe and the Orient, make those guys pay for their defense.

As to the Ruskies in Fulda...as pathetic is Europe is now, I'm sure Vlad is sorely tempted every day...but then again, who wants a couple hundred million welfare recipients?

Anonymous Godfrey May 23, 2012 4:51 PM  

The USSA is the military whore of the NWO/OWG elite. That crowd will fight every attempt to bring the occupation forces home.

Anonymous zen0 May 23, 2012 5:18 PM  

Robert Gates, June 2011


In his final policy speech abroad as Pentagon chief Friday, Gates questioned the viability of NATO, saying its members' penny-pinching and lack of political will could hasten the end of U.S. support.

"Future U.S. political leaders — those for whom the Cold War was not the formative experience that it was for me — may not consider the return on America's investment in NATO worth the cost," Gates told a European think-tank on the final day of an 11-day overseas journey.



I think they (TPTB) floated the balloon a year ago and are now implementing strategy.

Even CFR has run articles questioning NATO's viability recently.

Anonymous E. PERLINE May 23, 2012 5:32 PM  

When we tried to close military bases in Germany, the herrenvolk changed their complaints about our presence to complaints about our leaving. The reason was that they would lose considerable income.

This tells me that all that military personnel in all those far-flung bases are a form of foreign aid. They play hell with our budget too.

The point is that the party is over. I read that the U.S. is now more vulnerable to economic disaster than Europe is. We have a bigger trough to borrow from when we think we need it.

Anonymous Yorzhik May 23, 2012 5:36 PM  

It isn't nearly as expensive to keep the European or South Korean bases as it is to run a war. Not by a long shot.

I say keep the static bases, and shut down the wars due to lack of money.

Anonymous DonReynolds May 23, 2012 5:48 PM  

Anyhow, close shop and bring them home. Rebuild our Navy.

Josh..."wtf do we need a navy for?"

Our main defense on North America is the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. The US Navy means that NOBODY can cross either one in numbers sufficient to invade this country. A better question would be....what do we need an Army for if we are isolationist and see no need to fight on foreign fields? We have not had a strong Navy since the fleets were parked after WWII. The Navy says it can get by with 600 ships, provided they are high tech.

There are no battleships in service. There are 11 aircraft carriers, 74 submarines, 22 guided missile cruisers, 59 destroyers, and 30 frigates. The rest are smaller and supporting craft. Compare this to the 1,213 warships that participated in the D-Day invasion or the even larger fleet that invaded Okinawa a year later.

The US is particularly vulnerable to attack from either ocean without a Navy, the largest cities in this country are coastal ports, and the nation's capitol is within a few miles of salt water. A strong Navy keeps the shooting well out in the ocean and not on the dockside.

Anonymous Kriston May 23, 2012 5:55 PM  

We can't shut down the occupying bases. That would trigger the official end of WWII. Then the law would expire that allows the Fed to tax wages as income.

Wages were never considered income (capital gains) until the emergency measure of taxing wages to pay for the war effort.

As soon as we pull out of Europe and Japan the gravy train derails.

Of course, the people generally don't know this so they probably would just keep the current system in place. You know the law means nothing to most of them anyway.

Anonymous JCB May 23, 2012 5:56 PM  

JCclimber: "Let's get out of Afghanistan first. That sucker is extremely expensive and serves no strategic purpose anyway. Then start shutting down bases in Europe at the rate of 1 every 6 months."

Sure Afghanistan serves a purpose. It's an effective place to work out the kinks for the police state goodies to be used on us in the West (like drones). Also, all that opium provides a good source of income for black ops (U.S. troops have been caught defending the opium fields).

U.S. troops in Europe aren't going anywhere. They are there to remind Europeans that at the end of the day they are vassal states. That the U.S. has lots of dangerous toys and we will use them (see Afghanistan, Iraq, etc), so you'd better keep accepting the dollar, no matter how many trillions we print.

Anonymous JCB May 23, 2012 6:02 PM  

DonReynolds,

The Navy is a huge waste of money as it currently exists. If the U.S. ever picks a fight with the wrong country (China, Russia) this will become evident. Those carrier groups are sitting ducks and would be sunk by subs within a few days. It's not 1945 anymore.

Anonymous Josh May 23, 2012 6:06 PM  

wouldn't it be cheaper to use cruise missiles to blow up invading fleets?

Anonymous DonReynolds May 23, 2012 6:08 PM  

In related news....in Arkansas and Kentucky yesterday, Obama pulled out a simple majority in the Democratic primary election....with 40+% of voting Democrats voting for uncommitted or for a Chattanooga attorney. This is consistent with an earlier Democratic primary election in West Virginia....with 40+% voting for a candidate in a Federal prison in Texas. Can we say he got a "black eye" in each of these elections or is that just too obvious?

Anonymous TheExpat May 23, 2012 6:14 PM  

and cut the numbers in Japan to just one large base in Okinawa.

Wouldn't be much of a cut, as 70-80% of all U.S. troops in Japan are in Okinawa, and the Okinawans are pretty sick of it. Not a day goes by without some form of protest or demonstration calling for the rest of Japan (i.e., the four main islands) to "share the burden." Problem is, the rest of Japan is pretty NIMBY themselves.

Anonymous Lysander Spooner May 23, 2012 6:19 PM  

"Spooner had some good idea's, he was a socialist and definitely anti-capitalism. "

If you are referring to Lysander Spooner you are wrong on both counts.
Spooner started his own postal delivery, and introduced the three cent stamp. The anti-capitalist USSR outlawed the competition and the socialist US postal service was born.

Perhaps you should try to read his writings, it does take a bit more effort than the modern inflated 'education' provides, but I find him quite interesting and enjoyable.

Anonymous DonReynolds May 23, 2012 6:24 PM  

JCB...."The Navy is a huge waste of money as it currently exists. If the U.S. ever picks a fight with the wrong country (China, Russia) this will become evident. Those carrier groups are sitting ducks and would be sunk by subs within a few days. It's not 1945 anymore."

I very much agree. It is not 1945 anymore. But I do not agree that the carrier groups are sitting ducks, especially to submarines. As for China, they still do not have much a navy and the Russian (old Soviet) navy is rusting in port. Even the British Navy would be no match for the US Navy, having lost their one remaining aircraft carrier to budget cuts.

Josh..."wouldn't it be cheaper to use cruise missiles to blow up invading fleets?"

You are correct. Much cheaper, in fact. But the range of the cruise missile is very limited and by the time the invading fleet is within range of our cruise missiles, our cruise missiles are also within range of the enemy's cruise missiles too.

We have already had the period in American military history (after WWII) when the Army and Navy were thought to be useless, since all future wars would be fought with ICBMs and long-range bomber aircraft. Clearly, that was not true then and it is not true today. Why? Because the US and the rest of the world is less willing to use nuclear weapons today than when they were invented. Our nuclear deterrent lacks credibility and our resolve is thought to have weakened over the decades since WWII. Take the nukes out of the equation and we are left with a definite need for an Army and a Navy (with Marine Corps).

Anonymous III May 23, 2012 6:27 PM  

We still have a need to project power. A rebuilt Navy would do that. They have cruise missiles too. Ship borne cruise missiles. I'd rather counter them at sea than at our coast as counter measures are not yet 100% perfect yet. Coast defense would be a secondary line of defense.

Anonymous Noah B. May 23, 2012 6:28 PM  

Again, the key issue is that we as a nation are broke. If we don't stop the bleeding financially, the military that we do have is going to be suddenly left without logistical support. I don't need to explain to most of you what that would look like.

Anonymous zen0 May 23, 2012 8:05 PM  

@ Don Reynolds

I very much agree. It is not 1945 anymore. But I do not agree that the carrier groups are sitting ducks, especially to submarines.

Carriers are not deployed alone. Fast attack subs accompany the carrier along with other equipment.

They know its not 1945 anymore.

Also, the first Gerald Ford class super carriers are supposed to be in service in a couple of years. 30% less crew and able to deliver 160 sorties per day versus 140 today.

They didn't get the bankruptcy memo.

Anonymous cherub's revenge May 23, 2012 8:15 PM  

The US is particularly vulnerable to attack from either ocean without a Navy, the largest cities in this country are coastal ports, and the nation's capitol is within a few miles of salt water.

Losing DC, New York, LA, San Francisco, Boston and Miami is a risk I'm willing to take.

Anonymous DT May 23, 2012 8:40 PM  

Even if we put financial concerns aside (I know, I know), just what is required to defend American interests?

We have 11 carrier strike groups and an Air Force that can launch from the U.S. and bomb any location on the planet. We are unmatched when it comes to airstrikes, naval firepower, and special operations on the ground. Literally no one on the planet can repel a U.S. airstrike or the U.S. Navy. And if that's not enough, we have how many nukes?

But we aren't so great when it comes to occupations using large standing armies, which happens to be the one task that requires a ton of bases.

Let's assume, for the sake of argument, that the U.S. has legitimate defense concerns beyond its own borders. (I know, I know...bear with me.) What do we actually need to support those interests? I don't believe for a second that we need bases and standing armies around the globe. I'm probably at odds with the Ilk in that I think some foreign bases might be necessary, but no where near what we have now.

End the wars (how many are there?). Close just about all of the bases. Bring the troops home. Slash their numbers to what is necessary to a) defend the U.S. from invasion (including border patrols to stop the current invasion), and b) perform short term operations around the globe. Maintain sufficient air and naval capability to 'shock and awe' anyone who starts something we can't afford to get out of hand.

And forget ever maintaining or using a large invasion force again. We don't need that ability, and haven't needed it since Hiroshima. Assuming for the sake of argument that we belonged there in the first place, we could have ended the Korean, Vietnam, and Gulf wars without putting a single soldier or tank on the ground. One mushroom cloud each would have been enough, possibly even detonated in a remote area as a show of force to give the enemy the chance to surrender and spare lives.

While I'm on that point: I have no idea why we've been afraid to use nukes since WWII. As if ending a war in a few days with a couple of nukes is worse than a few years and all the killing that goes with it.

Anonymous Anonymous May 23, 2012 9:01 PM  

NATO exists in name only. When Germany requests payment back for this past round of bailouts and the only country capable of paying is France, guess what is next! Who is going to stop Germany from steam rolling Europe? When you look at the last 5 years, it is really sad to see so many in denial of the collapse of US hegemony. After two world wars, we are back to the same European scenario except this time US and UK are broke and Russia will not mind the coming annexation by Leopard tank. Hopefully we will pull our troops out before Germany demands the gold back from the US vaults. The scenario presented would have sounded crazy in 2002. Unfortunately, 2002 is a decade ago and 15 trillion dollars have been squandered on banksters, hookers and blow. Consequences of the actions of a generation that aborted 53 million, off sourced the heavy industry, and spent the wealth of generation m. All for that easy life of the fabricated American dream.

Anonymous cheddarman May 23, 2012 9:24 PM  

The republican and democrat whores in congress will push granny over the cliff in her mobility scooter before they willingly cut a dime from our military budget.

Anonymous DT May 23, 2012 9:40 PM  

Unfortunately, 2002 is a decade ago and 15 trillion dollars have been squandered on banksters, hookers and blow.

Hookers and blow? Well...at least it wasn't all wasted on banksters.

Anonymous KC Chiefs Fan, thick skin required! May 23, 2012 10:42 PM  

The German financial daily Handelsblatt said the Bundesbank was "holding a gun to Greece's head", hammering home the message that Germany will not submit to blackmail from populist politicians in Athens. Does that sound like 1938 or 2012?

Anonymous DonReynolds May 24, 2012 12:04 AM  

DT...."And forget ever maintaining or using a large invasion force again. We don't need that ability, and haven't needed it since Hiroshima."

During Desert Storm, the first Gulf War to free Kuwait from Iraqi occupation, the US put 550,000 troops in the desert. This force was about as large as the largest contingent of American troops (538,000 in 1968) during the Vietnam Conflict. It is something we cannot do again today or at anytime since Desert Storm because there simply are not enough soldiers to do so.

This was accomplished by stripping every major command worldwide of soldiers and equipment. (By the time of the invasion of Iraq (2003), the US Army was stretched so thin that ultimately half of the troops were National Guard. The invasion force was 148,000 US troops. Fortunately, the Brits showed up with another 45,000 soldiers.)

While these seem like big numbers today, the D-Day invasion landed some 150,000 in Normandy, by five days later some 326,000 had landed, and by D-Day plus 24 days, the Allies had landed 850,000 soldiers at Normandy. The 82 day battle for Okinawa a year later landed 185,000 soldiers and marines to take an island smaller in area than a typical county in the South.

Even if the USA was not flat broke on its ass, there simply are not enough soldiers to put a big army in the field again.

Anonymous III May 24, 2012 12:06 AM  

While I'm on that point: I have no idea why we've been afraid to use nukes since WWII. As if ending a war in a few days with a couple of nukes is worse than a few years and all the killing that goes with it.

Because, well... you know, those bad guys have nukes to and they also go KABOOM.

Anonymous DT May 24, 2012 1:34 AM  

During Desert Storm, the first Gulf War to free Kuwait from Iraqi occupation, the US put 550,000 troops in the desert.

One nuke close enough to Baghdad so everyone could see it, but not so close it would flatten the city, would have produced the same end result.

Because, well... you know, those bad guys have nukes to and they also go KABOOM.

The bad guys had nukes during the Korean, Vietnam, and Gulf wars?

Afghanistan has nukes?

Russia and China have nukes. But we're not going to war with them...and they would not have risked open war with us in Korea/Vietnam...for the very reason that all players have nukes.

I just don't get it. I'm tying to imagine being a soldier in the middle ages, somehow receiving a modern machine gun, but not using it because...well...it's just too mean.

Anonymous III May 24, 2012 2:55 AM  

Seriously? You think the Russians would take kindly to a nuke going off in Afghanistan? But then again, there are actually tards like you on this planet.

And... we are not "at war" with Afghanistan.

And...

It was Osama Bin Laden. And the Taliban!

Nope. No. no. no!

It was Osama Bin Laden. And the Iraqis! And the Taliban!

Nope. No, no, no, no!

It was Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. And Osama Bin Laden! And the Iraqis! And the Taliban!

Nope. No, no, no, no, no!

It was… the Iranians! And Osama Bin Laden! And the Iraqis! And Khalid Sheikh Mohammed! And the Taliban!

Yes! The Iranians! Lets attack them!

Never mind...

One nuke close enough to Baghdad so everyone could see it, but not so close it would flatten the city, would have produced the same end result.

Oh. You mean a tiny nuke! Like maybe a artillery nuke. We have conventional bombs with bigger yields than that now.

You just crawled out from under a rock... huh? And they were bashing incubator babies heads on the floor!

Anonymous teufelhunden May 24, 2012 3:44 AM  

Europa

I see you working it. I hear you Lickin'Chickin'.

Anonymous Anonymous May 24, 2012 10:23 AM  

We can no longer wet nurse all of the world, especially Europe.
As a old Southern friend would say" We don't have a dog in that fight.

Anonymous RedJack May 24, 2012 12:06 PM  

We stayed in Europe for a simple reason. To keep the Germans from having another go (and maybe the French). Instead they used our military cover to conquer Europe through the banks.

There will be a war in Europe again.

As for our military. One thing the current dust ups have taught us is that the US military is not that good at fighting asymmetric warfare. If someone decides to really screw with us, it won't be waves of ships or planes, but sudden attacks on soft targets in the mainland US. We don't have the men to defend against this, or the tactics. Let alone the will.

Anonymous WaterBoy May 24, 2012 12:43 PM  

cherub's revenge: "Losing DC, New York, LA, San Francisco, Boston and Miami is a risk I'm willing to take."

What about Louisiana Offshore Oil Platform, Port Fourchon and the Port of South Louisiana? Houston, Beaumont, and Corpus Christi? Long Beach, Seattle, and Portland?

Any nation looking to attack the US from water would do better to target our major ports and hurt us economically; hitting population centers and seats of government would accomplish nothing (the ports of those cities aside). And taking out the oil ports especially would arguably cause the greatest harm.

A navy would protect against that. But some would say, "Then they would just attack the oil tankers at the source, before they get over here." And they would be right...which is why our naval forces are also deployed to prevent such a thing.

In an ideal world, of course, this protection would be provided by the free market -- but we don't currently live in an ideal world. In the real world, we need the navy to do it.

Blogger JohnG May 24, 2012 1:07 PM  

@DT - where to start on that. We are "afraid" to use nukes because of the Geneva Convention prohibitions on the indiscriminate killing of civilians (that doesn't stop a JAG officer from saying the value of the target offsets the value of the collateral damage all the time, but...) - which would be the first reason given. Second, because our using them gives everbody else cover to use them if they want to.

Obviously there's arguments (here) against fighting OCONUS, but right now we're playing that we might have to hold ground. We're pretty stupid about how we go about it. Petreus came up with COIN and he spouts a lot of lofty ideas in there, but we've never persued a single policy that makes a COIN operation work (if one needs an example of a technical victory, read Galula on the Pacification of Algeria) - the first and foremost thing you need to make it work is boots on the ground. Now, we probably don't need a huge standing army all the time - we could get away with a large increase in Reserves with a small but capable cadre of Active people to act as trainers and leaders...it would be cheaper and better option than a draft.

We don't really need a lot of bases, most of our big 10 installations have hundreds of thousands of acres of land. As to projecting overseas, we really only need a few ports and airstrips (access to, we don't have to lease anything...screw the Europeans, if they need us they let us use their stuff), we can move inland as we need to. Having bases everywhere is just more convenient, faster and relies on the assumption that the "Checkbook" will always be wide open.

Anonymous Matt Strictland May 24, 2012 2:03 PM  

To what III said, the Navy is our primary line of defense. The problem in its current configuration its set up for WW3 with the USSR and not what we need it for.

If there is a real fight it will be unrestricted submarine warfare and I am not sure we can handle the new stealthy plastic subs China uses well enough to keep them from our capital ships.

Its not glamorous but we mostly need a big sub fleet, better detection and more stealth launched nukes and little else.

A much smaller land force and few bases would be a huge cost savings.

However keeping these troops overseas is crack to Imperialists and it keeps young most White and Conservative guys away from CONUS where they might see the mess the country has become and get some unsavory ideas like restoring it by any means necessary.

Anonymous III May 24, 2012 5:25 PM  

I don't disagree with you that we need more subs. But we still need carriers as we still need strike aircraft. Not having troops overseas does mean that we won't have a need for a limited or free for all conflict overseas. Sub based ballistic missiles and such are nice, but not a cure-all.

Anonymous E. PERLINE May 25, 2012 10:58 AM  

Right, we can't afford to police the world. No matter how rich we think we are, there are limits to out resources.

Even if we get rich personally, we can't afford the lavish lifestyle we are programmed to choose. It's a matter of pride, and pride is a balancing act. Hitler had to shoot himself. Mile Tyson lost hundreds of millions. The dictator of Iraq got himself hung.

I think nobody can afford to buy a million dollar home, even if he has a billion. It awakens the jealousy of the gods.

Anonymous Anonymous May 25, 2012 12:16 PM  

Ok, assume we remove our troops out of Europe. What about Reagan's insistence on missile defense instead? Would anyone here support exchanging live troops for a Star Wars system? Or, should we just get out completely.
Thank you.

GreenCarMan

Blogger A Conservative Teacher May 25, 2012 8:22 PM  

To be honest, how does keeping our troops housed in Germany or Japan or Europe cost us substantially more than keeping our troops housed in the United States? They train, they eat, etc- either here or there, it doesn't greatly matter. So your point was to 'bring the troops home to save money' isn't really well made, I think, unless you can tell me how we save considerable sums of money doing those things here instead of there. I'll give you combat operations- it costs money dropping bombs and rolling around tanks and flying jets and stuff- but that's not Europe- or even Iraq any more.

I think the point you want to make is that you want less troops and a smaller military, and that's an entirely different argument.

aconservativeteacher.blogspot.com

Anonymous Anonymous May 28, 2012 6:13 PM  

The ideal situation would be one in which we Europeans have our own army to protect us. But I just don't see that happening. Blackmailing from Muslims and Russians will inevitably follow any US withdrawal from Europe. I would like the US troops withdrawn, but unfortunately I just can't see it happening in a way that maintains my safety, so I am ambivalent about this issue.

Anonymous yukinyon May 30, 2012 12:32 AM  

Suppose for argument's sake we did pull out of every county, and all the fascists did return. We could profit from that like we profited from their suffering the last time, by selling them our weapons, and letting them destroy each others production infrastructure. One thing we can say as US citizens is that we didn't have too many people, at our throats until we got involved in solving other peoples problems. If we pulled out, would any animosity to US be forgotten? I think its pretty logical. If there is one reason people hate the US, its because we go fight battles where we weren't invited.

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